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How To Open Control Panel in Windows 8 & 8.1


Screenshot of Control Panel in Windows 8

Control Panel in Windows 8

The Control Panel in Windows 8 is a collection of applets, sort of like tiny programs, that can be used to configure various aspects of the operating system.

For example, the applets in the Windows 8 Control Panel can be used to change network settings, setup a storage space, manage display settings, and much more.

Before you can make any of these changes to Windows 8, you'll need to open the Control Panel.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Opening Control Panel in Windows 8 should only take you a few seconds.

Applies To: You can open Control Panel this way in any edition of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

Here's How:

  1. While on the Start screen, swipe up to switch to the Apps screen. With a mouse, click on the downward-facing arrow icon to bring up the same screen.

    Note: Prior to the Windows 8.1 update, the Apps screen is accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, or right-clicking anywhere, and then choosing All apps.

    Tip: See Tip #1 at the bottom of the page for a very quick way to open Control Panel in Windows 8... if you have a keyboard or mouse.
  2. On the Apps screen, swipe or scroll to the right and find the Windows System category.
  3. Press or click on the Control Panel icon under Windows System.
  4. Windows 8 will switch to the Desktop and open the Control Panel.

    By default, the Control Panel in Windows 8 opens in the Category view, but I recommend changing it to the arguably easier to manage Small icons or Large icons view.

    Tip: Not sure what all those Control Panel icons are for? See my List of Control Panel Applets in Windows for full explanations.


  1. If you're sporting a keyboard on your Windows 8 system, you can press the WIN and X keys together to access the Power User Menu, which has a shortcut for Control Panel.

    Additionally in Windows 8.1, right-clicking on the Start button, including a press-and-hold or stylus right-click, will also bring it up.

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